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Original Issue

Mike Souchak, Golfer JANUARY 16, 1956

Built more like Butkus than Hogan, muscle-bound Mike Souchak
would be heckled about steroids these days on the PGA Tour. The
5'11", 215-pound, long-driving Souchak won 16 times between 1953
and '66 and was featured on SI's cover in a preview of the Bing
Crosby National Pro-Am. Then, as now, his muscles were all
natural. "I never even did weight training in college," says
Souchak, who served for two years as a Navy gunner before
enrolling at Duke, where he played golf and was a two-way
starter on the football team--wide receiver and defensive
end--in addition to kicking extra points. "It was all

His first two victories as a pro came in 1955 and included the
Texas Open in San Antonio, where he set two of the Tour's most
hallowed records. En route to an opening-round 60 at
Brackenridge, Souchak fired a 27 on the back side, a nine-hole
score that has been matched only twice (by Andy North in '75 and
Billy Mayfair in 2001). He went on to shoot rounds of 68, 64 and
65, the latter in howling winds and temperatures in the low 30s,
to set a four-round record of 257. That number stood for 46 years
(Mark Calcavecchia broke it by one stroke at the '01 Phoenix
Open) and highlighted a career in which he also played in two
Ryder Cups.

Souchak left the Tour in 1966 with earnings near $300,000 and
became head pro at Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham,
Mich. In three years he was working at Oakland Hills in the
summers and at Innisbrook Resort in Tarpon Springs, Fla., in the
winters. Of all the responsibilities a head pro had, says
Souchak, the most stressful was keeping the fleet of golf carts
running. Recognizing a business opportunity, he teamed with two
General Electric employees in '73 to form Golf Car Systems, a
Clearwater, Fla.-based company that specializes in preventative
maintenance. The company now has 60 mechanics looking after 5,000
carts in 13 states. "The idea is to service them before anything
goes wrong," says Souchak, 75, who still runs the business with
one of the original partners.

Mike and his wife, Nancy, spend October through May in Florida so
that he can go to the office and so the couple can be near their
four children and four grandchildren. They spend summers in
Carmel, Calif., where Mike tries to golf three times a week as a
member at Spyglass. "I have some of the new equipment," says
Souchak, who never won a major but had six top five finishes. "I
wish I'd had these new wedges 40 years ago." --John O'Keefe

COLOR PHOTO: FRED LYON (COVER) CLOUD NINE Souchak still shares the PGA record for the lowest nine-hole score, 27.

COLOR PHOTO: GERRY GROPP [See caption above]

Souchak spends the summer teeing off at Spyglass and the rest of
the year managing his golf cart maintenance company.